Possibly the most common reminder of the impact of the ADA in day-to-day life, are the parking spaces with the blue disability parking signs bearing the international symbol of access.
The requirements for Disability Parking are are such a big deal that they are tied into the access standards for Titles II and III of the ADA. Every parking lot and ramp in Minnesota that is open to or used by the public is required to have disability parking.
Despite what some cranky folks on the Internet might say, disability parking tags are NOT only for those with visible mobility issues. The vast majority of people who use disability parking have non-visible disabilities. People with cardiac, pulmonary, joint or other conditions that would be aggravated by walking farther than a certain distance are the primary users of disability parking. Parkers with disabilities who use wheelchairs, walkers, canes or other mobility devices are in the minority, although this number is growing.
On the other hand, illegal parking in spaces identified as disability parking is a major problem affecting the lives of around 72% of the estimated 53 million Americans who rely on them. When a person without a disability certificate parks in a disability parking space – even if they’re only just “running in for a second” or they use a certificate or plate belonging to someone else – they are not only interfering with someone else’s access needs, they are breaking the law.
Thanks to the passage of the ADA, people with disabilities are given the opportunity to accessible parking, which makes it available for them to participate in the daily life of their communities.